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Published On: Tue, Mar 6th, 2018

After Lenin’s Statue in Tripura, Tamil Nadu BJP Leader Says ‘Casteist’ Periyar Next

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lenin-second-tripura_650x400_51520350033AGARTALA/ CHENNAI/ NEW DELHI : Not one but two statues of Russian Communist icon Vladimir Lenin were brought down in Tripura amid clashes that erupted between Left and BJP supporters after the BJP swept assembly elections in the state, ousting Left party CPM after 25 years in power.
After Tripura , Senior Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja calls Periyar “casteist” and called for the reformists statue to be “destroyed”. “Who is Lenin? What is the relevance he holds in India?  Lenin’s statues were destroyed in Tripura, tomorrow, in Tamil Nadu, casteist Periyar’s statues will be destroyed,” wrote Raja. Periyar was a social activist, politician who started the Self-Respect Movement and is known as the Father of Dravidian politics.

A statue of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, was brought down by alleged BJP supporters, using a JCB amid chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. The statue stood at the center of College Square in the heart of Belonia town in South Tripura.
A big political controversy has erupted that saw the CPM or Communist Party of India (Marxist) accuse the BJP of attacking its offices in Tripura and bringing down the Lenin statues. The CPM’s Sitaram Yechury said his party will launch country-wide protests .CPM leaders protest in Kolkata against the destruction of Lenin’s statues in Tripura
The BJP’s Biplab Deb, who will take oath as Tripura’s chief minister on Friday, warned that, “Anyone involved in anything like this will face action as per law.” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called up Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and police chief AK Shukla, asking them to ensure peace and check violence till a new government is installed in the state.

The thumping BJP victory on Saturday kicked off a frenzied celebration by the party’s supporters which degenerated into clashes with their communist rivals and rioting.

A five-foot-tall fibre-glass Lenin statue at the College Square in south Tripura’s Belonia was uprooted and flattened by a mob with the help of bulldozers on Monday. It had been inaugurated by senior CPM leader Prakash Karat a few months ago. On Tuesday evening, it was reported that another Lenin statue had been brought down in Sabroom, about 50 km from Belonia, on Sunday.

The Tripura police said they are also investigating more than a dozen complaints of arson, violence and vandalism. “We arrested a person who was driving the bulldozer that toppled the statue,” Tripura police spokesman Pradip De also said.

While images of the jeering mob reducing the statue to rubble sparked condemnation and Biplab Deb’s rebuke, the BJP’s Rajat Sethi said the crowd was responding to a “symbol of oppression”. “This is simple catharsis,” Mr Sethi told news agency AFP, adding, “It’s a good and legitimate form of expressing their resistance against their symbol of oppression.”

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said in New Delhi that the government condemns all kinds of violence but “statues of foreign leaders are not required in India.”
Mr Yechury also criticized comments made by Governor Tathagata Roy, who tweeted, “What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa.”
In rare agreement with the Left was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who too blamed the BJP. Condemning the incident of a statue of Communist revolutionary Lenin being taken down in Tripura, West Bengal CM Banerjee said, the kind of “divisive politics” that is vandalising Lenin’s statue today, will soon target those of Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Swami Vivekananda.(With Agency Inputs).

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